One of the MHSA Essential Elements is Community Collaboration. Collaboration is critical to the success and outcome of Regional Partnerships. As the Regional Partnership develops it is recommended to form some type of leadership structure or Steering Committee that helps support the work in the community. There is no requirement in the guidelines to do so, however, based on the experiences of the Collaborative, this may be a useful way for the Regional Partnership to add to the county mental health perspective to include other partners: education, consumers, family members, etc
Depending on the region’s individual needs, a Steering Committee can be made up of individuals who can help guide the direction of the Regional Partnership. Likely members will be county mental health directors, contracted providers, representatives from local educational institutions, consumers, family members, human resources and training staff. The size and complexity of each region will determine the makeup of the Steering Committee. As the group becomes more formalized, consider developing a mission statement that clearly defines your purpose.
As an example, the Collaborative’s Steering Committee consists of individuals from the following groups and organizations: Mental health director (chair, appointed by the Greater Bay Area mental health directors); consumer manager; county WET staff; director/ professor from local graduate program; foundation staff; vocational services staff; CASRA; community college instructor; high school principal (mental health academy); and DMH.
From the Collaborative’s experience, the Steering Committee has been helpful in the following ways:
Assisting in developing/ratifying workplans.
Bringing different perspectives to the group, including consumers and family members.
Serving as ambassadors of the Collaborative to the greater community.
Providing expertise in specific mental health workforce development areas.
Serving as an advisory group for the Coordinator.
In the Resources section are the following documents from the Collaborative: